Movie Reviews for People with Small Kids: Quick Hits


In which I review movies that are probably too old for Redbox now, because finding a babysitter and having the disposable income to get a night out to the movies is only slightly more difficult than building a life sized replica of the Great Wall of China out of Legos.

I’ve been neglectful in my movie watching duties lately, hopefully this makes up for it.

Iron Man 3

Possibly Robert Downey Jr.’s last solo movie as Tony Stark and that might be a good thing. This time, he’s struggling with PTSD following the events in The Avengers, which seems a bit odd since he seemed perfectly fine after having his military escort convoy blown up, waking up with a battery surgically attached to his chest, being held hostage for a few months, and having to fight a close friend to the death, but it gives the writers an excuse to let Tony ignore most of the character growth he’s made in the course of three movies, and it lets them set up the idea that the Iron Man armor is a woobie for him: his security blanket and the only place he feels safe.

The plot involves a series of explosions blamed on the terrorist, the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) as well as the production of Extremis by AIM head Aldrich Killian (Guy Pierce.) Extremis is a technobabble MacGuffin that lets ordinary folks have superpowers.

Tony’s friends sort of take the sidelines again, and while it’s fun to watch RDJ be the charismatically dysfunctional Tony Stark, I feel like if this were the last solo Iron Man movie, I’d be okay with that. Not because I particularly liked the ending which feels a bit too Deus Ex Machina, but because I think future sequels will start to see Tony Stark go the way of Jack Sparrow who was great, then good, then okay, and now whose movies I greet with a “meh.”

Now You See Me…

Four magicians seemingly rob a bank on the other side of the world while performing in Las Vegas, and it’s up to Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, and the woman who burned down Hitler in her movie theater in Inglorious Basterds to stop them.

It’s a fun, entertaining heist movie. The leads are likable, the story moves quickly, and like any good magic show, it’s all about showmanship. You may know where the film is going, but it entertains you along the way, and really, that’s all I ask for the $1 I pay to rent the movie.

The Great Gatsby

A tale for our time about rather disgusting rich people, class, social status, and excess wrapped in a Baz Luhrmann movie. It helps you stomach the ending if you visualize the future Great Depression wiping out the wealth of the Buchanans and one or both of them taking a high dive from a Wall St. skyscraper.

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